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Sapphire Technology is now selling a flavour of ATI RADEON 9800 PRO graphics card with tangibly lowered memory performance resulting from 128-bit memory bus. The move indicates ATI’s and Sapphire’s intention to get rid of the former high-end graphics processor as fast as possible.

Sapphire Technology’s ATLANTIS RADEON 9800 PRO 128-bit has recently started to emerge for sale in Tokyo, Japan, Akiba PC Hotline reports. The graphics cards features fully-fledged RADEON 9800 PRO graphics processor with 8 rendering pipelines at 385MHz, but is based on PCB similar to that of RADEON 9500 PRO – with 128-bit memory bus for 128MB of DDR SDRAM memory.

Original RADEON 9800 PRO 128MB graphics cards were clocked at 385MHz/680MHz for chip/memory and equipped with 128MB of DDR SDRAM with 256-bit bus. Cutting down the memory bus width to 128-bit is likely to seriously reduce performance of the graphics card in applications that rely on rapid memory access as well as in situations when full-scene anti-aliasing is enabled.

Sapphire is known for making rather exotic graphics cards powered by chips from ATI Technologies. The company was among the first to go with the RADEON 9800 SE and also created a number of other designs typically considered as extraordinary.

ATLANTIS RADEON 9800 PRO 128-bit costs from $214 to $219 in Tokyo, Japan. ATI RADEON 9600 XT-based graphics cards cost $185 in Tokyo, Japan.

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